Sunday, October 21, 2007

Buttercream Frosting

I'm posting this recipe because I've never seen anything like it. I watched that Ina lady (yawn) make this yesterday . . . she basically makes a meringue or that seven minute fluffy white frosting . . . and then adds FIVE STICKS OF BUTTER. She calls it a buttercream (you sure?) and mentioned she's used this recipe many times for wedding cakes. FYI, when she spread it on the cake she took her knife and ran it under water before going over it for the last time. It gave it a shine.

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
6 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 pounds (5 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Triple Sec or other orange liqueur (optional - you can use orange flavoring or omit completely)
1 tablespoon of food coloring (optional)

Combine the sugar with 2/3 cup water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and, without stirring, bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and allow the mixture to boil until the sugar dissolves. Uncover and continue boiling until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Pour the syrup into a heat-proof measuring cup.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until the eggs form stiff peaks. With the mixer on high speed, slowly pour the syrup into the egg whites. Continue beating on high speed until the mixture is absolutely at room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.

With the mixer on medium speed, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and then add the vanilla and liqueur. (If the mixture becomes runny, the meringue was too warm and the butter melted. Chill slightly and beat again.) Add the food coloring and combine.

Yield: 6 cups